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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It seems like it was only yesterday that season 1997/98 started. Hajduk were looking to make up for the disasterous season before when Dinamo left them 21 points behind, Dinamo was riding the wave of signing Robert Prosinecki and a small club just made their first appearance in HNL. The name of the club was Slaven Belupo. That was 11 years ago.

In that time Slaven established themselves as a respectable top half of the table club and in the past 8 years they have made 6 appearances in European competitions which considering their financial ability is a great result on its own. While every other club in HNL, including Hajduk and Dinamo, had their ups and downs Slaven remained a constant a top half of the table club that can make things difficult for everyone and is always in the battle for European places. To make things even more unbelievable in their European appearances they never disgraced themselves or Croatian football. When they went out it was to clubs like Aston Villa, Stuttgart, Lille, Deportivo La Coruna, Galatasary and Sigma Olomouc.

Even when our top clubs like have been disgracing themselves by losing to Irish, Albanian and even Slovenian clubs Slaven never disgraced themselves. They never had any stars who were in everybody's spotlight, their good scouting system made them discover unknown players like Dodik and Vrucina who established themselves as respectable names in HNL they never brought in expensive signings, when they signed someone one'd often say who the **** is that.
They came where they are now by being completely different than anything else in HNL. They came where they are now by having a long term plan which is carefully designed so it is realistic. They don't have financial power that Dinamo, Hajduk or Rijeka have and yet they made a bigger step forward in the past 7 years than any other Croatian club.

Well done Slaven Belupo, and the rest of HNL can look up to them and their way of doing things.
 

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agree, they are a stable club and in the past few years they have developed some good talent from their own youth school, guys like Jajalo, Gregurina, Delic, Rodic etc..

They look to be a serious club, I was afraid they were going to fall off this season after Jurcic left the club but they haven't skipped a beat with Petkovic in charge. They have some good 'experienced' players like Vrucina, Posavec, Caval on their team is as well

What I also like is their rarely if ever play bunker, sure they looked shaky at times today and looked nervous, but they actually try to score goals, away from home and at home. They dismantle opponents in the early qualifying rounds, while some of our other clubs need to sweat out wins even in the opening qualifying rounds.

Slaven will probably never compete for a title, but they deserve some media attention, and they in their short history have already accomplished more than most clubs in Croatia
 

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Nice win against the greeks tonight...2-0
 

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Kristijan Caval is the best left back in the league, hard to believe he isn't at a 'bigger' club, but judging by the results Slaven deserve to be mentioned up there. Caval would walk into the Hajduk team right now
 
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